Henry Kissinger served in the US Army during the Second World War and subsequently held teaching posts in History and Government at Harvard University for twenty years. He served as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and has advised many other American presidents on foreign policy. He received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Medal of Liberty, among other awards. He is the author of numerous books and articles on foreign policy and diplomacy, including most recently On China and World Order. He is currently Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm.
This is an extraordinary book, one that braids together two through
lines in the long and distinguished career of former Secretary of
State Henry Kissinger. The first is grand strategy: No practical
geopolitical thinker has more assuredly mastered the way the modern
global system works or how nations use the tools of statecraft to
bend an often-resistant world to their will. But Mr. Kissinger is
also an astute observer of the personal element in strategy-the art
and science of leadership, or how, on the executive level,
"decisions [are] made, trust earned, promises kept, a way forward
proposed." In Leadership he presents a fascinating set of
historical case studies and political biographies that blend the
dance and the dancer, seamlessly. ... In doing so, he lays out a
set of graspable tools that leaders can use effectively today. ...
Kissinger puts a high premium on a deep and considered knowledge of
history, coupled with a strength of inner character.
*Wall Street Journal*
Do individuals matter in shaping the course of events? Henry Kissinger thinks they do, and in his latest book he draws on case studies and his own experience to argue that the individual leader, and his or her statecraft, can sometimes determine history ... Although Kissinger, now aged 99, has not held office since 1977, he has advised virtually every US president since Nixon... For Kissinger, good leaders have a deep appreciation of the past and an ability to imagine possible futures ... Elder statesman is an overused term but Kissinger is the genuine article, and worth listening to.
As he heads towards his century, Kissinger has lost none of the intellectual firepower that set him apart from other foreign policy professors and practitioners of his and subsequent generations.
Yoda for foreign policy geeks
The 99-year-old Kissinger has written what purports to be a handbook for the leaders of today and tomorrow, built around six portraits of global figures from the second half of the 20th century: Konrad Adenauer, Charles de Gaulle, Nixon, Anwar Sadat, Lee Kuan Yew and Margaret Thatcher. Kissinger draws interesting parallels between them. All six lives were shaped by what he calls the Second Thirty Years War - the period of global conflict from 1914 to 1945. ... Kissinger knew them all and enlivens his text with accounts of his own interactions with the leaders and those around them. ... informed and authoritative
They all triumphed over their modest starts in life, through their great ability and drive, to reach the pinnacle of power. All of his six subjects, Kissinger argues, show that "transformative leadership" by great people matters more than impersonal forces in shaping history.
authoritative... given the pitiful state of leadership in the western world today, a few of those already in high office would lose nothing except, perhaps, their idiocy by reading it.
There is no denying his intellectual potency ... this tome is a robust study of six leaders who he asserts 'transcended the circumstances they inherited'. ... he makes shrewd comments about the way in which leaders operate today in an era dominated by social media and identity-based factionalism.
One of America's most legendary diplomats finds the soul in statecraft in these enlightening sketches of world leaders. . . . Kissinger infuses his lucid policy analyses with colorful firsthand observations. . . . Kissinger's portraits of politicians spinning weakness and defeat into renewed strength are captivating. This is a vital study of power in action.
Now aged 99, Henry Kissinger is still writing books. Here he profiles six leaders he has known - Lee Kuan Yew, Konrad Adenauer, Richard Nixon, Charles de Gaulle, Margaret Thatcher and Anwar Sadat - and draws general lessons about the character and intellect of leaders who are able to change the world.
*Financial Times Book of the Year*
Henry Kissinger's Leadership, looks at the same period, but through six people he knew personally - de Gaulle, Adenauer, Sadat, Lee Kwan Yew, Thatcher and, most controversially, Nixon - and argues why they were successful... it is always worth hearing from this astonishing eyewitness to history.
*The Telegraph Book of the Year*